adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Work environment of a geek

Posted by Oliver on the 8th of February, 2011 in category Thoughts
Tagged with: geekhackingmusicworking

For a long time I've shunned stereotypes such as the hacker sitting in a dark basement listening to repetitive music with headphones on while they code into the early hours of the morning. My early hours of the morning are usually spent rocking the baby back to sleep and then trying to get back to sleep myself, and I don't live in a basement. Nor do I particularly enjoy listening to techno, trance or any derivative genres or sub-genres of music. I do own headphones, but that is my sole claim to fame.

Last week I had the luxury of being locked away (by choice) from colleagues and developers for a whole week to spend some uninterrupted time problem-solving and I must admit, I enjoyed not being interrupted frequently. I don't think I have been in a position where I could actually work on things solidly for hours at a time and not have my concentration broken. It just doesn't happen anymore.

We watched The Social Network recently, and I was amused by the constant used of "he's wired in" but there is obviously more than just a grain of truth in the stereotype. I had to return to my regular station this week (not a total loss due to having my dual 24" monitors) but the noise in the office was quite distracting. I put my headphones on and fired up Mark Morgan's Vault Archives. It's a nice bunch of post-apocalyptic atmosphoric tracks which are remixes of the originals from the Fallout series of games. I've never played the games themselves (although I'm tempted to, now) but it seemed to actually help me concentrate.

I've managed to spend all of today "wired in" and so the playlist necessarily needed to be extended somewhat. I managed to find and listen to:

  • Mark Morgan - Planescape: Torment
  • System Shock 1 & 2 soundtracks
  • Half Life 2 soundtrack
  • Dark Side of Phobos (Doom 1 remix)

I also had some suggestions from my brother for other soundtracks I could explore:

  • Resident Evil 4
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Machinarium

Any other suggestions?

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